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From the award-winning and New York Times bestseller Once and for All
Unlock your heart and the rest will follow.
Ruby is used to taking care of herself.
But now that she’s living with her sister, she’s got her own room, she’s going to a good school, and her future looks bright.
Plus there’s the adorable boy next door.
Can Ruby learn to open her heart and let him in?
“All the Dessen trademarks here” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Sarah Dessen is the winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her contributions to YA literature, as well as the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award.
Books by Sarah Dessen:
Someone Like You
Keeping the Moon
The Truth About Forever
Lock and Key
Along for the Ride
What Happened to Goodbye
The Moon and More
Once and for All
About the Author
Dessen’s books are frequently chosen for the Teens’ Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association.
Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.
Visit Sarah at sarahdessen.com.
Hometown:Chapel Hill, NC
Date of Birth:June 6, 1970
Place of Birth:Evanston, Illinois
Education:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, degree in English.
Read an Excerpt
"And finally," Jamie said as he pushed the door open, "we come to the main event. Your room."
I was braced for pink. Ruffles or quilting, or maybe even appliqué. Which was probably kind of unfair, but then again, I didn't know my sister anymore, much less her decorating style. With total strangers, it had always been my policy to expect the worst. Usually they—and those that you knew best, for that matter—did not disappoint.
Instead, the first thing I saw was green. A large, high window, on the other side of which were tall trees, separating the huge backyard from that of the house that backed up to it. Everything was big about where my sister and her husband, Jamie, lived—from the homes to the cars to the stone fence you saw first thing when you pulled into the neighborhood itself, made up of boulders that looked too enormous to ever be moved. It was like Stonehenge, but suburban. So weird.
It was only as I thought this that I realized we were all still standing there in the hallway, backed up like a traffic jam. At some point Jamie, who had been leading this little tour, had stepped aside, leaving me in the doorway. Clearly, they wanted me to step in first. So I did.
The room was, yes, big, with cream-colored walls. There were three other windows beneath the big one I'd first seen, although they each were covered with thin venetian blinds. To the right, I saw a double bed with a yellow comforter and matching pillows, a white blanket folded over the foot. There was a small desk, too, a chair tucked under it. The ceiling slanted on either side, meeting in a flat strip in the middle, where there was a square skylight, also covered with a venetian blind—a little square one, clearly custom made to fit. It was so matchy-matchy and odd that for a moment, I found myself just staring up at it, as if this was actually the weirdest thing about that day.
"So, you've got your own bathroom," Jamie said, stepping around me, his feet making soft thuds on the carpet, which was of course spotless. In fact, the whole room smelled like paint and new carpet, just like the rest of the house. I wondered how long ago they had moved in—a month, six months? "Right through this door. And the closet is in here, too. Weird, right? Ours is the same way. When we were building, Cora claimed it meant she would get ready faster. A theory which has yet to be proved out, I might add."
Then he smiled at me, and again I tried to force a smile back. Who was this odd creature, my brother-in-law—a term that seemed oddly fitting, considering the circumstances—in his mountain-bike T-shirt, jeans and funky expensive sneakers, cracking jokes in an obvious effort to ease the tension of an incredibly awkward situation? I had no idea, other than he had to be the very last person I would have expected to end up with my sister, who was so uptight she wasn't even pretending to smile at his attempts. At least I was trying.
Not Cora. She was just standing in the doorway, barely over the threshold, arms crossed over her chest. She had on a sleeveless sweater—even though it was mid-October, the house was beyond cozy, almost hot—and I could see the definition of her biceps and triceps, every muscle seemingly tensed, the same way they had been when she'd walked into the meeting room at Poplar House two hours earlier. Then, too, it seemed like Jamie had done all the talking, both to Shayna, the head counselor, and to me while Cora remained quiet. Still, every now and again, I could feel her eyes on me, steady, as if she was studying my features, committing me to memory, or maybe just trying to figure out if there was any part of me she recognized at all.
So Cora had a husband, I'd thought, staring at them as we'd sat across from each other, Shayna shuffling papers between us. I wondered if they'd had a fancy wedding, with her in a big white dress, or if they'd just eloped after she'd told him she had no family to speak of. Left to her own devices, this was the story I was sure she preferred— that she'd just sprouted, all on her own, neither connected nor indebted to anyone else at all.
"Thermostat's out in the hallway if you need to adjust it," Jamie was saying now. "Personally, I like a bit of a chill to the air, but your sister prefers it to be sweltering. So even if you turn it down, she'll most likely jack it back up within moments."
Again he smiled, and I did the same. God, this was exhausting. I felt Cora shift in the doorway, but again she didn't say anything.
"Oh!" Jamie said, clapping his hands. "Almost forgot. The best part." He walked over to the window in the center of the wall, reaching down beneath the blind. It wasn't until he was stepping back and it was opening that I realized it was, in fact, a door. Within moments, I smelled cold air. "Come check this out."
I fought the urge to look back at Cora again as I took a step, then one more, feeling my feet sink into the carpet, following him over the threshold onto a small balcony. He was standing by the railing, and I joined him, both of us looking down at the backyard. When I'd first seen it from the kitchen, I'd noticed just the basics: grass, a shed, the big patio with a grill at one end. Now, though, I could see there were rocks laid out in the grass in an oval shape, obviously deliberately, and again, I thought of Stonehenge. What was it with these rich people, a druid fixation?
"It's gonna be a pond," Jamie told me, as if I'd said this out loud.
"A pond?" I said.
"Total ecosystem," he said. "Thirty-by-twenty and lined, all natural, with a waterfall. And fish. Cool, huh?"
Again, I felt him look at me, expectant. "Yeah," I said, because I was a guest here. "Sounds great." Â
He laughed. "Hear that, Cor? She doesn't think I'm crazy." Â
I looked down at the circle again, then back at my sister. She'd come into the room, although not that far, and still had her arms crossed over her chest as she stood there, watching us. For a moment, our eyes met, and I wondered how on earth I'd ended up here, the last place I knew either one of us wanted me to be. Then she opened her mouth to speak for the first time since we'd pulled up in the driveway and all this, whatever it was, began.
"It's cold," she said. "You should come inside." Â
Before one o'clock that afternoon, when she showed up to claim me, I hadn't seen my sister in ten years. I didn't know where she lived, what she was doing, or even who she was. I didn't care, either. There had been a time when Cora was part of my life, but that time was over, simple as that. Or so I'd thought, until the Honeycutts showed up one random Tuesday and everything changed.
The Honeycutts owned the little yellow farmhouse where my mom and I had been living for about a year. Before that, we'd had an apartment at the Lakeview Chalets, the run-down complex just behind the mall. There, we'd shared a one-bedroom, our only window looking out over the back entrance to the J&K Cafeteria, where there was always at least one employee in a hairnet sitting outside smoking, perched on an overturned milk crate. Running alongside the complex was a stream that you didn't even notice until there was a big rain and it rose, overflowing its nonexistent banks and flooding everything, which happened at least two or three times a year. Since we were on the top floor, we were spared the water itself, but the smell of the mildew from the lower apartments permeated everything, and God only knew what kind of mold was in the walls. Suffice to say I had a cold for two years straight. That was the first thing I noticed about the yellow house: I could breathe there.
It was different in other ways, too. Like the fact that it was a house, and not an apartment in a complex or over someone's garage. I'd grown used to the sound of neighbors on the other side of a wall, but the yellow house sat in the center of a big field, framed by two oak trees. There was another house, off to the left, but it was visible only by flashes of roof you glimpsed through the trees—for all intents and purposes, we were alone. Which was just the way we liked it.
My mom wasn't much of a people person. In certain situations—say, if you were buying, for instance—she could be very friendly. And if you put her within five hundred feet of a man who would treat her like shit, she'd find him and be making nice before you could stop her, and I knew, because I had tried. But interacting with the majority of the population (cashiers, school administrators, bosses, ex-boyfriends) was not something she engaged in unless absolutely necessary, and then, with great reluctance.
Which was why it was lucky that she had me. For as long as I could remember, I'd been the buffer system. The go-between, my mother's ambassador to the world. Whenever we pulled up at the store and she needed a Diet Coke but was too hungover to go in herself, or she spied a neighbor coming who wanted to complain about her late-night banging around again, or the Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door, it was always the same. "Ruby," she'd say, in her tired voice, pressing either her glass or her hand to her forehead. "Talk to the people, would you?"
And I would. I'd chat with the girl behind the counter as I waited for my change, nod as the neighbor again threatened to call the super, ignored the proffered literature as I firmly shut the door in the Jehovah's faces. I was the first line of defense, always ready with an explanation or a bit of spin. "She's at the bank right now," I'd tell the landlord, even as she snored on the couch on the other side of the half-closed door. "She's just outside, talking to a delivery," I'd assure her boss so he'd release her bags for the day to me, while she smoked a much-needed cigarette in the freight area and tried to calm her shaking hands. And finally, the biggest lie of all: "Of course she's still living here. She's just working a lot," which is what I'd told the sheriff that day when I'd been called out of fourth period and found him waiting for me. That time, though, all the spin in the world didn't work. I talked to the people, just like she'd always asked, but they weren't listening.
That first day, though, when my mom and I pulled up in front of the yellow house, things were okay. Sure, we'd left our apartment with the usual drama—owing back rent, the super lurking around, watching us so carefully that we had to pack the car over a series of days, adding a few things each time we went to the store or to work. I'd gotten used to this, though, the same way I'd adjusted to us rarely if ever having a phone, and if we did, having it listed under another name. Ditto with my school paperwork, which my mom often filled out with a fake address, as she was convinced that creditors and old landlords would track us down that way. For a long time, I thought this was the way everyone lived. When I got old enough to realize otherwise, it was already habit, and anything else would have felt strange.
Inside, the yellow house was sort of odd. The kitchen was the biggest room, and everything was lined up against one wall: cabinets, appliances, shelves. Against another wall was a huge propane heater, which in cold weather worked hard to heat the whole house, whooshing to life with a heavy sigh. The only bathroom was off the kitchen, poking out with no insulated walls—my mom said it must have been added on; there'd probably been an outhouse, initially—which made for some cold mornings until you got the hot water blasting and the steam heated things up. The living room was small, the walls covered with dark fake-wood paneling. Even at high noon, you needed a light on to see your hand in front of your face. My mother, of course, loved the dimness and usually pulled the shades shut, as well. I'd come home to find her on the couch, cigarette dangling from one hand, the glow from the TV flashing across her face in bursts. Outside, the sun might be shining, the entire world bright, but in our house, it could always be late night, my mother's favorite time of day.
Â In the old one-bedroom apartment, I was accustomed to sometimes being awoken from a dead sleep, her lips close to my ear as she asked me to move out onto the couch, please, honey. As I went, groggy and discombobulated, I'd do my best not to notice whoever slipped back in the door behind her. At the yellow house, though, I got my own room. It was small, with a tiny closet and only one window, as well as orange carpet and those same dark walls, but I had a door to shut, and it was all mine. It made me feel like we'd stay longer than a couple of months, that things would be better here. In the end, though, only one of these things turned out to be true.
I first met the Honeycutts three days after we moved in. It was early afternoon, and we were getting ready to leave for work when a green pickup truck came up the driveway. A man was driving, a woman in the passenger seat beside him. Â
"Mom," I called out to my mother, who was in the bedroom getting dressed. "Someone's here."
Â She sighed, sounding annoyed. My mother was at her worst just before going to work, petulant like a child. "Who is it?"
"Oh, Ruby." She sighed again. "Just talk to them, would you?"
The first thing I noticed about the Honeycutts was that they were instantly friendly, the kind of people my mother couldn't stand. They were both beaming when I opened the door, and when they saw me, they smiled even wider.
"Well, look at you!" the woman said, as if I'd done something precious just by existing. She herself resembled a gnome, with her small features and halo of white curls, like something made to put on a shelf. "Hello there!"
I nodded, my standard response to all door knockers. Unnecessary verbals only encouraged them, or so I'd learned. "Can I help you?"
The man blinked. "Ronnie Honeycutt," he said, extending his hand. "This is my wife, Alice. And you are?"
I glanced in the direction of my mother's room. While usually she banged around a lot while getting ready—drawers slamming, grumbling to herself—now, of course, she was dead silent. Looking back at the couple, I decided they probably weren't Jehovah's but were definitely peddling something. "Sorry," I said, beginning my patented firm shut of the door, "but we're not—"
"Oh, honey, it's okay!" Alice said. She looked at her husband. "Stranger danger," she explained. "They teach it in school."
"Stranger what?" Ronnie said.
"We're your landlords," she told me. "We just dropped by to say hello and make sure you got moved in all right."
Landlords, I thought. That was even worse than Witnesses. Instinctively, I eased the door shut a bit more, wedging my foot against it. "We're fine," I told them.
"Is your mom around?" Ronnie asked as Alice shifted her weight, trying to see into the kitchen behind me.
I adjusted myself accordingly, blocking her view, before saying, "Actually, she's—"
"Right here," I heard my mother say, and then she was crossing the living room toward us, pulling her hair back with one hand. She had on jeans, her boots, and a white tank top, and despite the fact that she'd just woken up about twenty minutes earlier, I had to admit she looked pretty good. Once, my mother had been a great beauty, and occasionally you could still get a glimpse of the girl she had been—if the light was right, or she'd had a decent night's sleep, or, like me, you were just wistful enough to look for it.
Excerpted from "Lock and Key"
Copyright © 2009 Sarah Dessen.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
Dessen's best since This Lullabyàit will captivate all readers.ö VOYA, highlighted review
All the Dessen trademarks are here. Publishers Weekly, starred review
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was very good. I have read all of Sarah Dessen's books and the way she ties everything together in the end is sensational. You cannot read this book during a busy time- aka finals... That would be a big mistake. This is definitely a must read!!
I loved Lock and Key. Not only is it tied with The Truth About Forever as my favorite Sarah Dessen book, it is now one of my favorite books ever. The story is narrated by Ruby. She's been living in a run-down farmhouse after her mother abandoned her. Although her living conditions are far from easy, Ruby thinks she's doing just fine. Then her living alone as a minor is discovered, and Ruby is shipped off to live with Cora, the older sister she hasn't seen in ten years. Cora's world is perfect, she has a huge house in an exclusive neighborhood, a good career as lawyer, and a nice, wealthy husband. Suddenly Ruby is surrounded by everything she never had and thought she could never have; a private school, new clothes, and a second chance. But for some reason she doesn't want any of it. Sarah Dessen's characters make this book great. There's Jamie, Ruby's optimistic brother-in-law; Nate the popular boy next door and Harriet, a jewelry making workaholic. Then there's Ruby herself. She is so layered, hiding truths about her life even from herself. Is she just a misfit in her new, priveleged life or is she something more? You'll have to read Sarah Dessen's exquisitely crafted novel to find out.
Ruby is having a hard time adjusting to her new life. She's not used to not having to worry about the bare necessities such as food and clothing. She's not accustomed to all the money. She's not used to living with her family.
It wasn't too long ago that Ruby's mother left her for good. No one besides Ruby knew, and she was planning to keep it that way until she turned eighteen and was legally an adult. But someone found out, and now Ruby has to live with her sister and brother-in-law. But Ruby doesn't know how to deal with this new lifestyle, or with her overly friendly neighbor Nate. Ruby doesn't like depending on anyone or letting anyone really get to know her. But Nate might be more like her than she thinks.
Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors of all time, and she does not disappoint with Lock and Key. I really love how Sarah Dessen can really capture the emotions people like Ruby feel, the stubborn independence and loneliness. She weaves a beautiful story of the healing of a girl and the healing she returns. Like all of Sarah Dessen's novels, Lock and Key is truly amazing. I found myself glued to the pages, not able to turn them fast enough.
There is a lot of symbolism in this novel, mostly stemming from the title, and this is what makes the story so brilliant. On one hand, there is Ruby who is reluctant to unlock her past to anyone but ends up letting Nate into her heart. On the other, Nate refuses to let Ruby unlock him. The struggles of both Ruby and Nate are so similar to some of the struggles many teens face today, although in different perspectives, and I really appreciated how realistic it was.
I highly recommend Lock and Key along with all of Sarah Dessen's other novels, including The Truth about Forever, This Lullaby, and Just Listen. Fans of Deb Caletti will also enjoy this novel, as well as teens everywhere. Great read...
It's been a quite a long time that I found myself sitting up until three in the morning, wanting desperately to finish a story. But that is exactly where I found myself the other night with LOCK AND KEY in my hands. I was so engrossed in Ruby and her story that I had to find out how it ended.
Ruby Cooper has always looked out for Number One. When Ruby was eight, her sister Cora left for university and never looked back. It was always Ruby and her mother, moving from one place to another. Her mother's excuse was to avoid creditors and landlords. Ruby slowly comes to find out that this is the version her mother wanted her to hear.
Early on in her senior year of high school, Ruby's mom does a runner. Leaving Ruby all alone in the rented yellow house, Ruby does what she can to survive. She will be eighteen in less than a year, and if she can hide the fact that she's alone until then, the authorities won't be able to touch her. But when the dryer fails at her rented house and the landlords notice a clothes line strung throughout the kitchen, Ruby's life is forever changed.
Custody of Ruby is given over to her older sister, Cora. Cora and her husband, Jamie, live in a wealthy community and live a life totally foreign to everything Ruby has ever known. Not trusting Cora and Jamie's intentions, Ruby plots an escape her first night in her new home. Making a break over the fence in the back yard, her escape is foiled by one rambunctious dog, Roscoe. Roscoe's barking brings a curious "Hello?" from the other side of the fence. Here she meets her next door neighbor, Nate. Nate's outlook on life is upbeat and infectious. But Ruby does everything she can to keep him at bay, as well.
Slowly, Ruby learns to adjust the new life she has been given, and develop friendships in the most unlikely places. Ruby has always kept on the fringes and avoided being indebted to anyone. But as she grows and evolves, she realizes that maybe others need her just as much as she needs them. With a class assignment to define "Family," Ruby understands that the word has many meanings, and most of them don't necessarily mean blood relations.
Sarah Dessen writes another amazing novel for young adults. LOCK AND KEY is wonderful, heartfelt story. All of the characters draw you in and make you feel like you are part of their lives. Jamie's naiveté is endearing. Cora's infertility struggles hit you in the heart. Olivia's tough girl exterior has cracks you get to see through. Harriett is just as harried as her name implies. And the perfect-seeming Nate has secrets all his own.
My only regret with this book is that I failed to move it to the top of my To Be Read pile as soon as it arrived for review. So if you have this one sitting around at home, make it the next one you read. And if you've picked it up at the book store, considering purchasing it, definitely do so the next time you are there. You won't regret it!
Sarah Dessen writes another amazing novel for young adults. LOCK AND KEY is wonderful, heartfelt story. All of the characters draw you in and make you feel like you are part of their lives. Jamie's naiveté is endearing. Cora's infertility struggles hit you in the heart. Olivia's tough girl exterior has cracks you get to see through. Harriett is just as harried as her name implies. And the perfect-seeming Nate has secrets all his own. Custody of Ruby is given over to her older sister, Cora. Cora and her husband, Jamie, live in a wealthy community and live a life totally foreign to everything Ruby has ever known. Not trusting Cora and Jamie's intentions, Ruby plots an escape her first night in her new home. Making a break over the fence in the back yard, her escape is foiled by one rambunctious dog, Roscoe. Roscoe's barking brings a curious "Hello?" from the other side of the fence. Here she meets her next door neighbor, Nate. Nate's outlook on life is upbeat and infectious. But Ruby does everything she can to keep him at bay, as well. For years, Ruby and her mother moved from apartment to apartment. They lived in random places and cramped spaces above other people's garages. Finally, they find a little yellow house to rent. Ruby's mother, preferring to drown her sorrows in alcohol than deal with them head-on, made her daughter give her excuses to visitors, landlords, and bosses. I would recommend this book to any young person, it keeps you going and that's what I love about Sarah Dessen and her books. Absolutely wonderful!!!!
This is funny, thought-provoking, and a great read. Lock and Key is a realistic view on life in this novel and brings together heart break, drama, and romance. The characters draw you in and make you feel like you are part of their lives. Ruby, Nate, Cora, Jaimie, Olivia, with all their true to life problems, are believable and endearing, be it, infertility struggles, tough girl verses push over, perfect exterior with hidden secrets and so on. I enjoyed!
I was a little weary about reading this, after reading the back. This by far has to be one of Dessen's best books. In this book Dessen tells the story from the point of view of a 17 teen year old abandoned by her mother. When she is found by her landlords she is shipped off the live with her sister Cora, who she hasn't seen in ten years and is now married to a wealthy family guy. This book reveals relationships, and bonds of sisters struggling to make up for the time they have missed. This book also has a shocking suprise about a secret her mother has kept from her for years.
This book is a little bit of everything. Sarah Dessen doesn't just zone in onto one thing, she equally focuses on different issues going on. I love how she brings characters in from other books such as Rogerson-from Dreamland. He's also a drug dealer in here too. Kiki Sparks-she was the mom in Keeping the Moon. She's mentioned by one of the characters in here for her infomercials. Also Barbara Starr-Remi's mom in This Lullaby who's also a best selling novelist in this book. Even their personalities in here are identical to the ones displayed in their original books. This is a definite read. Try to drag it out because I never wanted it to end.
This book was great! It was great how at the beginning Ruby was struggling and wouldn't let anyone into her life or didn't want help from anyone. Throughout the book the tables seem to turn. Not only does she try helping others who don't want their help, she realizes that this is the way she had been to those who were reaching out to her. It's a really great book with so much meaning.
A story about the matters of the heart, friendship and most importantly, family. About living in the moment and reaching out to others. Loved every single page of the book, I just might read it again. Or maybe twice.
This is the first Sara Dessen book I have read thus far and am very impressed with her writing ability. I had heard many intriguing things about these books and decided to find out for myself. Dessen does an amazing job of characterizing all parts of the book. Each character has an amzingly unique personality. You really understand each of their personal struggles as it feels like you are going through them as well. I really enjoyed the diversity of the characters also. This story is really part of aa bigger picture in Ruby's struggle to adapt to everyday life as most know it. She is unlike most girls of her age which really captures the readers attention as she struggle to learn to trust. Ruby has a fear of owing anyone anything this Nate helps her through. Because her mother was an abusive alchoholic Ruby is able to sympathize with Nate whose father is also rather abusive. Their friendship pulls the reader in to hope that something more will happen so that they both might be able to help each other through overcoming their difficult stuggles. Dessen really creates so much suspension in their relationship making the reader want more and more just to find out what might happen. You cant put the book down once you have started reading it. Ruby's introvertedness is so individual it really lives up the book in the respect that her personal stuggle is something everyone else must also learn from. Also apparrent is the newness of a family unit in not only Ruby's life but, Cora's as well while they overcome personal struggles. Dessen portrays how unaccustomed each are to this situation or the new things they are experiencing throughout the book. For most this is not something they have been associated with before making this book so mush more interesting then others for the reason that it is not commonplace. I really appreciate situtions like these a lot more now that i have read the book, everyone has something to learn from it. Whether it is apparent to the reader in the beginning or not there is so much love that each character begins to show for one another because, they have begun to overcome their personal struggles. The diction in this book is individaul to each character which makes it significantly more interesting. This book also poses a sense of humor that intrigues the reader, Ruby's sarcasm is truly humorus. Dessen gives this story such a sweet touch even through all of the bad times it seems so endearing. The attention to detail is amazing in this book. Many things are described that provide really great sensory details to enlighten the reader. The attention to deatail is also well shown in the characters. They are shown down to the simple expressions on the characters face which is truly a valuable detail in a story like this, so as to make the reader feeel part of the story. Ruby's struggle with hanging on to the past but, also learnong to accept her new found love in her newfound family. She has many abstacles to overcome but, you go through them with her making this book all the more interesting. I definitely reccomend this story to all it holds so musch that many can appreciate. I really liked everything about this book. What made it most intriguing was that it was not in fact relateable like most other books strive to be. It is admirable that Dessen does not try to write like the other main steam authors of this time. I enjoyed it immensely and really hope to continue reading more and more of these books.
Lock and Key is written by Sarah Dessen and is fiction. One character is named Ruby who is stubborn, independent, tall and pale, and isn't a people person. That is until she meets Nate, who is caring, popular, hardworking, blonde, and is always thinking positive. Ruby also has an older sister named Cora who is caring, smart, willing, and motherly, is short, and has dark colored hair. I cannot identify with Ruby when her mom abandons her. This story takes place in a suburban neighborhood on the east coast. Behind the neighborhood in a greenway which leads to a new mall where Ruby works at a jewelry cart. The author is trying to tell readers that if you're going through a rough time you can or should tell someone. I think this story is about family coming together, love, and friendship. The theme of this book is that you don't have to be blood related to be a family. When Ruby's mom left her, Ruby went to live with her sister Cora and Cora's husband Jamie. Ruby and Cora have a 10 year difference in age so when Cora leaves for college, it's just Ruby and her mother. Ruby and her mom move around a lot, so Cora couldn't come back for Ruby because their mom drinks a lot and can never keep a job. A little over a year before Ruby graduates from high school, her mom left her to take care of herself in a dirty yellow house, until the landlords find out and take her to Poplar House. Jamie (Cora's husband) and Cora took in Ruby. When she first starts a new school she didn't want to make any friends. Nate, who lives beside Jamie and Cora is an all around good guy, and drives Ruby and Gervais to school every morning. After a few months, he and Ruby are a couple. A few later weeks Ruby finds out that Nate's father physically and verbally abuses Nate, but he won't let Ruby help him. I think a lot of people can relate to this book because it is so real. The thing I liked about this book is that it's not like most books; it's not all about romance, but about family and friends. I didn't really like how Nate moved back to Arizona with his mom. This story was kind of predicable, but I didn't think her mom would be in rehab. In the end Ruby gets into the U (local college), Nate moves back to Arizona with his mom, but will he return in the fall to go to the U. with Ruby? I guess you will have to read the book to find out! I would give this book four stars, and would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read.
Lock and Key is a brilliant book about love, trust and emotion. It contains very real characters who really relate to the reader and their feelings. The book is about a 17 year old girl caller Ruby who has been abandoned by her mother and is sent to live with her long lost sister and her husband. She struggles in a new challenging school and has to deal with her " true friends ". Everything is going very wrong for Ruby until she meets the next door neighbor Nate, Nate helps Ruby find the truth about why her sister left her, her mother abandon her and how life is not as bad as it seems. Most importantly Ruby finds herself. A fantastic book that is witty, emotional, edgy and romantic . The writing bursts with life and will have you up all night. Lock and Key is defiantly a worthwhile read. (Freya 2010)
This book is a page turner, it keeps you reading and reading!
I was truly surprised by how much of a page turner this book turned out to be. I really really loved it. I had only read one other Sarah Dessen book which was Dreamland, and I didn't really find it all that appealing. I'm a very big critic of books when it comes to the characters and how they make you feel. But this book pleasantly surprised me in the way that I could really connect to the characters. The story and the way that it unfolded was entirely real, and something that could really happen. Instead of jumping right into the relationships, Dessen let them develop in a way that was realistic. Which was one of the things that I loved. I also loved how everything came full circle in the end. The ending was beautiful, and yet heart wrenching (in a way, for me at least) at the same time. I would definitely reread this novel and give it about a 9 out of 10. I was captivated by her writing. Thank you Dessen.
I read Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen for a project in school. This was a very good book and it really got me thinking about how good my life is and how I should appreciate it more. This is about a girl named Ruby and how she has to deal with the difficulties of living with her sister, who she hasn't talked to in five years, and moving into and axtravagant new home and a new town. I would definitely recommend this to everyone I know for it is a must read if you love suspencful novels!
A perfect book with my kind of romance. This is so far my favrite Sarah Dessen book, and thats saying much (:
when i read this i could not put it down! my mom would always find me on my bed reading for hours every day and i sometimes forgot i had homework or school the next morning instead of going to bed!
This is my fave Sarah Dessen book, amd she is my fave author! I HIGHLY reccommend all of her books! DONT LISTEN TO THE HATERS!!!!!!
I really enjoyed reading this book. I could not put it down. I recoomened this book for ages 12 and up becuase of some sections of the book. My favoorite thing that the author includes was that she included other characters from her other books.
Loved the book, hated the ending. Would still recommend it, though!
This is truly a great book. I love it. This was the first book by sarah dessen i bought. I got it a my book fair at my school last year. I saw and it kindof interesting so that's why i got it. Let me tell you that was a great decision i made. D.N
The book, Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen was a very captivating book. If I were to rate this book on a scale of 1 to 5 it would defiantly be a 5. I could not put it down because if you love Sarah Dessen's books like I do, you know that she has such a way with words. I would be up late at night reading because at the end of every chapter Sarah Dessen foreshadows and leaves you thinking, what happens next!? This book has not only romance, but some tragedy, and also bit of suspense, which to me, is a book worth reading. To summarize, Lock and Key is mainly about a girl named Ruby, who doesn’t exactly have the best family in the world. Her father walked out on the family when Ruby was five, she has a mother who is always drunk or smoking, and a sister, Cora, who is 10 years older than her who didn’t stay in touch with the family. But when her mother vanishes, for good, Ruby is on her own. Being only 17, it isn’t legal for her to be living on her own, and she gets busted. She now has to live with her sister Cora and brother in law, Jamie. At first life is awful. Ruby misses her old friends, her old school, and her old life, but things start to get better when she meets the cute neighbor Nate, and some other new friends that make Ruby realize that she doesn’t have it so bad after all. I would definitely recommend Lock and Key, but not to everyone. It is obviously a girly book, so guys would not enjoy reading it. But not all girls will either. You definitely need to like romance stories because there is a lot of romance throughout the whole book. For example, there are quite a few of couples throughout the book. Another thing is, you can’t be one to get very emotional because there is also some tragedy, such as Ruby’s relationships with people. A lot end in the book, and it gets a little sad. It was a very realistic book as well. Over all, I have to say this book was one of Sarah Dessen’s best. It is amazing.
This book was so good. Sarah Desson really painted a picture in my mind. Keep writing Sarah!!! ;)
This was the first book i read by sarah dessen and it wasnt the last. I absolutely adore her books. So far lock and key is my favorite. You should definately buy this book and all of the other books by her.